The decade's most triggering comedy
A grand jury in Colleton County, South Carolina, indicted former attorney Alex Murdaugh on Thursday for allegedly killing his wife and son in June 2021.
Murdaugh, 54, had been suspected of killing his wife, 52-year-old Margaret, and their 22-year-old son Paul, who were found with bullet wounds on the family’s 1,700 acre estate.
“Over the last 13 months, SLED agents and our partners have worked day in and day out to build a case against the person responsible for the murders of Maggie and Paul and to exclude those who were not,” South Carolina Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel said in a statement to media outlets. “At no point did agents lose focus on this investigation. From the beginning I have been clear, the priority was to ensure justice was served. Today is one more step in a long process for justice for Maggie and Paul.”
Murdaugh was already in prison for dozens of other charges, including financial crimes and charges related to his alleged attempt to stage a fake “hit” on himself. Those charges, according to The Washington Post, were made after his wife and son were killed, but he had not been indicted for their deaths until now.
The indictment does not include many details, the Daily Beast reported, including information regarding Murdaugh’s motives for allegedly killing his family members. The indictment does say that Murdaugh allegedly killed his wife with a rifle but used a shotgun to kill his son.
The murder indictment is just the latest in a long and bizarre story regarding the once prominent South Carolina family. After Margaret and Paul were found murdered, police began looking into Murdaugh’s life and discovered numerous disturbing details.
Murdaugh was accused of stealing $8.5 million from people who had hired him to be their attorney. He is also alleged to have orchestrated his own murder by hiring a friend to kill him so that his surviving son, Buster, could receive a $10 million life insurance payout. Murdaugh allegedly lied to police about the incident, claiming a stranger shot him on the side of the road. This all took place just days after Murdaugh’s firm discovered he had been stealing money from clients.
Further, state police began looking into the hit-and-run death of a 19-year-old in July 2015 as a possible connection to Murdaugh, but no additional details have been released. Authorities also exhumed the body of Murdaugh’s former housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield, who was said to have died after a fall in 2018. Murdaugh allegedly collected more than $4 million from his home insurer by claiming wrongful death and saying he was working for Satterfield’s family, but the family didn’t receive any of the money, according to prosecutors.
Last month, Murdaugh was also indicted for alleged money laundering and creating a “distribution network” for painkillers, the Associated Press reported at the time. Murdaugh allegedly ran the drug ring with the same friend he allegedly hired to kill him.
Murdaugh has repeatedly denied killing his wife and son, saying he was visiting his parents when they were killed. He’s been in jail since October with a $7 million bond. On Tuesday, the South Carolina Supreme Court disbarred him, with his attorneys declining to contest the arguments against his disbarment.